Review: The Here and Now

Monday, November 10, 2014
Title: The Here and Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Time Travel

Synopsis from Goodreads:
An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsseries, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking--and a must-read novel of the year.

My Thoughts

I was very excited to read this because, heck. It’s by Ann Brashares! I loved her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, and I was just ecstatic to know that I’ll be able to read another book of hers. But, sadly, I was disappointed. I don’t know if it’s because I just set my expectations so high, or what, but I didn’t like The Here and Now so much. Why?

  1. The pacing. I found myself reading but not really reading, as if I was just skimming through them. The fact is, I wasn’t. I just didn’t know what happened. I saw that I was already halfway through the book, around 50-60% of it, and I was really surprised. I didn’t feel that I was halfway through the book already because it seemed to me that not much things are happening. Or maybe there were many things happening at the same time.
  2. The characters. I didn’t feel attached to any of the characters, most especially Ethan. I found it convenient for him to be someone that was needed in the situation. It was unrealistic because really. Life doesn’t just happen that way, that one person could be all the things that we need. Ethan seemed too perfect in that way, and I didn’t like that. On the other hand, Prenna just has this talent of making all sorts of bad decisions. There were just a lot of times that I just want to wring her head out because I was very frustrated. Although, to give her the benefit of doubt, it may be because the society is very different from the futuristic society she came from. But still. Just how much awful decisions can you make in a span of how many days or weeks?
  3. Insta-love. No, no, no. That did not just happen. Technically, it wasn’t really insta-love because the guy had been in love with Prenna for years. Still, no. It was semi-insta-love because it kind of happened when Ethan first met Prenna, but their relationship was a little bit bland for me. And, they just lacked the sparks I wanted for a romance novel.
  4. The plot. It got repetitive for me at some point, and it sort of annoyed me that Prenna and Ethan knew the depth of whatever is happening, but the things that they were doing did not justify it. Playing cards, for one. They played cards a lot. /sad

I really tried my best to like this novel, but it didn’t work out for me. However, I loved the idea of the plague that happened during Prenna’s time though. It shows a possibility of what can happen in the future, and it’s frightening. Especially with all sorts of virus and sickness popping out now, this, in doubt, is very probable. I also liked the determination of the characters to save the world, and how Prenna wrote letters to her dead young brother about the "present.” It was entertaining to see what her reactions were. All in all, there were just more reasons for me not to like The Here and Now. However, this might work out better for others.

My Rating


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